Jeff Miller Sr. "Big Guy", 67, died peacefully at home, in the arms of his wife, on October 13, after a brief but courageous battle with metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Jeff was born in New London, WI on February 9, 1955 to Winona (Miller) and Donald Pecard. He was adopted by his maternal grandparents at the age of 4 along with his siblings, after his parents were both killed in a tragic car accident. He was a member of the Stockbridge Munsee Tribe and grew up on the Reservation. He graduated from Bowler High School in 1973 and went on to receive an associate degree in Heating and Air Conditioning from LaCrosse Technical College. He married Patti Darling in 1979. They were married 43 years at the time of his death. He resided in the Bowler area his entire life.
Jeff was larger than life and had an even bigger heart. He would help you whether he knew you for years or even just minutes. Jeff was a construction pipefitter and a welder extraordinaire. He worked in the Fox Valley and the Little Rapids paper Mill in Shawano. He was active in his Union, Local 458 then Local 400 until he retired. After 20 years in the trades, he started Arrowhead Builders and worked with his sons and grandsons building custom log homes and doing log restoration. He also had a saw mill, and enjoyed cutting all types of trees into slabs, boards and cookies. After one of the oldest white pine trees on the Menominee Reservation was cut down, he sawed a portion of it, which is displayed at the Field Museum in Chicago, where the new Native American exhibit opened this spring. He also provided log columns for the Indian School in Milwaukee and the new fitness center in Keshena. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. He enjoyed many trips to Canada with family over the years. He traveled to Alaska for the past 17 years, to work and play several times per year, accompanied at times by his sons and grandsons. He loved snowmobiling, breaking trails in deep snow on the Rez any chance he could. Jeff was an avid story teller on all of the above, and each story got better and longer with every Budweiser he drank.
Jeff is survived by his wife Patti, who loved him through thick and thin, his sons Jeff Jr and Luke (Sarah). His grandchildren Brayden Myron, Michael Jeffrey, Benjamin Doc and Lucy Patricia. His sisters and brothers; Judy (Scott) Rogers, Joe (Jackie) Miller, Nita (Ron) Tourtillott, Marshall (Donna) Miller. His brother in laws, Mike (Kathy) Darling and Rod Darling, along with many cousins, nieces and nephews, his dog Brownie and Keke the cat. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Myron Jr (Bernice) Miller and sister, Ataloa (Ivan) Wadzinski.
Thank you to Unity Hospice and Leah his nurse for exceptional care. Patti would like to thank her sons, Sarah, and grandchildren for taking time off work and school to be with Jeff. Also all of the family and friends that provided food and encouragement during this very difficult trial. Chris (Candy) Miller for making the urn. Candy, Mark (Renae) Parker and John (Cindy) Miller for the eagle feathers. Robert (Norma) Gardner for the Many Trails bola tie. All so beautiful. And lastly, Tori (Kurt) Moshetz for always making Jeff and Patti look better than they should and keeping Patti upright through this all.
Jeff loved Jehovah God. He dedicated his life to him and was baptized as one of the Jehovah's Witnesses on July 24, 2022. His memorial service will be held at the Kingdom Hall in Shawano and also via Zoom (ID: 82043100893 & passcode: 948148) on Saturday, November 5, 2022 at 1:00 pm. All family and friends are welcome to dinner which will be served at 2:00 pm at The Pine Hills Golf Course Banquet Hall, N9499 Pine Hills Drive, Gresham, WI.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial gift can be sent to Unity Hospice or Lombardi Cancer Center in memory of Jeff.